Save money on your wedding

February 19, 2009 9:20:17 AM PST
Tips and tricks to save money on your upcoming wedding.

Amy Nichols tips:
While everyone is familiar with the age-old concept of reducing your guest list will help you save money, couples may forget EXACTLY how much it saves them -- in addition to reducing your catering cost, fewer tables mean fewer linens to rent (approx $40/table for specialty linens), and fewer flower arrangements. In addition, if you're renting chairs, china, glassware, etc, it really adds up. Number of bridesmaids and number of groomsmen is key to keep low. Each additional person is another flower arrangement, another boutonniere, and another gift to buy.

  • Areas I don't recommend to skimp: photographer -- the pictures are the only thing you'll have at the end of the day

  • DJ vs Band -- a DJ is always a money saver -- good bands can start at $6k and go way up

  • If you're using a band, and your reception is in the same place, find out if the band can provide cocktail music or ceremony music. It may be cheaper to add them for a couple hours vs bringing in another group.

  • If trying to save money, go for what we call in the event industry an "on-site" venue -- i.e. a country club, private club, hotel -- somewhere where you don't have to pay for tables, chairs, silverware, glassware, etc. Venues such as outdoor spaces, wineries, etc often have hefty site fees, and then you STILL have to bring in tables, chairs, etc.

  • Always go with professionals -- even if you're tempted to have mom make the cake, sis to do the flowers, etc -- unless you have a relative or friend who is professionally employed as a baker/musician, etc. Know that they may not have as much fun!

  • Glamour closet is a great place for cheap dresses here in SF -- samples that are sold at the end of the city.

  • If you have your ceremony/reception in one place, you save on not having to transport guests from one location to the next. You may also be able to skip the limo rental

  • Invites -- DON'T GO EVITE! I may be old-fashioned, but there is still something special about an invitation.

  • Offset printing is a good option vs letterpress -- MUCH less expensive. You can always skip programs, menus, favors -- they are "extras" and not essential.
About Amy Nichols:
Amy Nichols Special Events is a full-service event and wedding planning company based in San Francisco, California. Amy began her career in the financial services industry in New York City, after graduating from Middlebury College. She quickly turned in numbers for details and realized that her true calling was the event industry. In her free time, she interned and trained with celebrity wedding and event planners in both New York and Beverly Hills, eager to learn more about the event industry and the art of the grand affair. In 2002 Amy relocated to San Francisco where she currently resides. After a successful career in corporate event planning (working for companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Lazard Freres, and Credit Suisse First Boston), Amy opened the doors of Amy Nichols Special Events in 2005. Amy spends her free time involved with non-profits and her alma maters. She has worked on events with the World Wildlife Foundation, Cate School, Middlebury College, the Junior League of San Francisco and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Amy has taken numerous of courses in event and wedding planning at UCLA, UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University. After successfully completing the professional development program with the Association of Bridal Consultants, Amy has earned the designation of Professional Bridal Consultant.